Are You Human?

by blogmistress on February 11, 2009


Note: In the following story, the names have been changed to protect the innocent (or the guilty as the case may be).

Scenario 1: A company spent several thousands of dollars on advertising to get me to buy their product. Let’s say it was internet service. I get the service and install according to the directions and it doesn’t work. I call their “customer service” number. I listen to a menu with 8 choices. I choose one. I listen to another menu with 5 choices, I choose one. I listen to a message telling me I should check their website for quicker answers. Of course, if I could get to their website, I wouldn’t be calling. I get 3 more options, one of which is to hold for a customer service representative. I wait while listening to annoying, repetitive music that is occasionally interrupted with a voice telling me that all representatives are busy with other customers, please stay on the line. After an eternity of waiting, I get a representative that tells me he will have to transfer me to another department, then the waiting begins again.

Scenario 2: I did a Google search for a product I was needing. I found a great site that had just what I wanted but I had a question about the product. I looked for contact information. Where was it? I looked and looked. I just had one quick, easy question. I just wanted a quick easy answer before I purchased the product. I found a phone number. I called the phone number and started in the phone tree. Hung up. I found an email address. I emailed my question. I waited 2 days for an answer but didn’t get a response. I went to Google and searched again for another source. Apparently, my first choice didn’t have any humans at their company.

Has this ever happened to you? Do you do this to your customers? Do you spend money on advertising just to get customers to call you or email you or come in your door and then forget to be human?

Picture either scenario above this way: I call customer service. A real person answers the phone. This real person takes note of my problem and tells me customer support will call me back within 30 minutes. Within 30 minutes a real person from the right department calls and helps me with my problem. I am happy with the product and the customer service and all is well.

Don’t forget to be human. A blog and social media are good ways to show your customers you are not just a faceless website out there. It is a good way for your customers to get to know you and let’s face it, we prefer to do business with people we know. Yes, we can be businesses and be human at the same time.

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